As a new year begins, so does the frantic events and conference season which is already in full swing in the UAE.
Whether it is in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any of the other Emirates there is an enormous array of events as vast and different as the population that makes up this vibrant country.
So where to begin, which ones do you make and which ones do you sacrifice, how do you even know which ones are even on.
I will try to give a few tips to ensure that this season you optimize your time efficiently and get the most out of it and to generate the additional business that you are hoping for but probably currently not maximizing.
Do it right and the time spent in the car and trudging around the halls, will be worth it.
1. PLAN AHEAD
So where do you find out about all these events, there are numerous publications both online and in print outlining the upcoming events but three good ones to help you on your way are;
Dubai World Trade Centre
Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
Hotel Bookings can skyrocket during major events, so it is best to book early if you definitely know you will be attending and require accommodation.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
- Each event will have its own dedicated web page with the list of exhibitors and conference times, take note, review who is exhibiting or speaking and connect prior to the event. Schedule meetings (if possible) with those that is of certain interest prior to the event. As we know during the event it can get busy and the last thing you want is to miss the person or wait around patiently while they are dealing with other clients/customers
- Announce your event attendance through email and your social media channels
- Pre-Register Online where possible – it will save you time on the day of the event
- Think about the PR and event information that you can utilize and leverage to create new content for your company blog, articles, or process documentation. Set goals for how many content objects (blog posts, videos, tweets, images, videos) you’ll create each day. Strategize where you’ll publishing this content and timings as well.
3. Attending the Event
- Arrive Early on the first day – Parking and collecting your visitor badge can take a lot of time, always better to have your pass early and you can always grab a coffee or breakfast once inside.
- Have a clear goal of what you want to achieve each day
- Create an audience, take photos, tweet, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + create a buzz that you are there remembering to use the various hashtags of the event
- Don’t discount the other visitors – Grabbing lunch; share a table, lining up to get a coffee, visitors at the same stand as you, waiting to register; speak to the people around you, you never know where the next lead is coming from, you will be surprised
- Obvious one, but plenty of business cards I am surprised how many people underestimate or run out at events
4. Attending the conferences/speaker sessions
- There are many benefits to attending conference sessions. The obvious is to hear Industry experts give presentations on important topics with useful tips.
- Engage with your fellow attendees again, they are obviously interested in it for a reason, compare notes – it’s a great way to network and to get other opinions
- How will you record your notes; on an iPad, laptop or on paper? Will you take photos or video (where allowed)? Can you obtain a copy of the speaker’s presentation? Introduce yourself to the speakers; too shy to ask during the Q&A, make the time to ask them afterwards, don’t let the opportunity pass
5. Post Event
- Connect and Follow up with those who you have met, connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter. Send an email with purpose, was it something you discussed, a useful tip, links or any relevant information they might find useful for the connection
- Post event recap: pick out key highlights and summarize for those who were not in attendance, share your experience and ask others for theirs
- Share with your team; the whole point of attending events/conferences is to learn and expand your network and to hear industry experts share knowledge and insights into subjects that your business can benefit from. Collecting tips, statistics and other useful information from these events will multiply the value of one person attending an event
- Review the way the different speakers gave their presentations, or how the booth staff engaged you, you can benefit from how the information was presented as much as the actual information and you can then adapt for your next presentation or meeting.
These are just a few points to consider before you attend your next event that may help you optimize the business value and hopefully your next client.
We will be attending a number of the key events in the coming months both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai so please feel free to get in touch if you want to meet during the events to discuss any business set-up issues or PRO and other Government Liaison matters. Call Tyron direct on +971 56 669 8512 or +971 (0)2 448 4810 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for general enquiries.